Here's why health care costs skyrocket

As an insurance agent, I can tell you why our cost of medical care per person has escalated while the service per dollar has dropped.

Many years ago, when insurance companies decided to add a co-payment in addition to a deductible to services provided, the number of patients obtaining services declined because people could not pay their deductible and their co-payment. When the number of patients declined, the medical profession simply increased their rates to offset the drop in patients. The result is more expense for fewer services rendered.

Has anyone noticed that before insurance companies added co-pays, there were plenty of patients for the medical profession to be profitable? Now there are fewer patients, and the medical profession is making less money and the hospitals are going broke.

The insurance companies pay less in claims because they have a negotiated rate for the services. The patient's co-pay is not based on the negotiated fee, which according to their insurance was negotiated on their behalf, but the original billed fee which means we pay more while the insurance companies pay less. They still increase our premiums and our deductibles, which means they are collecting more and paying out less because if you can't afford your co-pay you don't go to the doctor.

I suppose this is how, in a time of recession and stock market reductions, health insurance companies made $350 billion last year while everyone else is going broke.

What do you think banks and mortgage companies would do if your automobile and homeowners carrier decided to apply a 10 percent co-pay in addition to your deductible? A claim on your $50,000 car would cost your regular deductible plus a $5,000 co-pay. The banks will never let that happen because they would end up with a lot of wrecked vehicles. I guess in America it's more important to protect the banks' interest in your car than your health.

Emilie Bowles

Sylvania

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